In the Thick of It by Alan Duncan review – Johnson is a ‘buffoon’, Gove a ‘freak’

The diaries of the former Tory minister dismiss the PM’s Brexit arguments as ‘puerile junk’, but Britain’s stagnant politics is the real target

Serious times call for serious people. If living through a global pandemic had somehow failed to underline that, then the sight of violence returning to the streets of Northern Ireland in recent weeks should. The argument for grownups in the room could hardy seem clearer. But until recently you might have got good odds against Alan Duncan emerging at its standard bearer.

Still, cometh the hour, cometh the diarist. In the Thick of It, this former Tory minister’s account of the four years running up to Boris Johnson’s landslide election victory in 2019, initially grabbed the headlines thanks to the sheer gleeful bitchiness of the insults littered throughout. But there’s a more serious message at the heart of this book, reeking as it does of decline and despair.

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